This weekend I spent with my family. In my family, each Memorial weekend, we spend decorating graves at local cemeteries. It may sound maudlin to some, but it’s a way to revere relatives, to pay homage to our fallen and to show our love for the continued memories that give us comfort and pleasure.
This weekend I also got to make my first pineapple upside down cake. I confess, I used a short cut but it was still delicious and I way overdid the eating part. Wanted to share this favorite summer time dessert with you all. Hope whatever you did this holiday weekend, you spent the time making memories or sharing memories with family.
Pineapple Upside down cake
1 pkg. yellow cake mix (CAUTION- you’ll only need one half of the cake mix for the cake, I made another small cake for freezing and using later)
1 can (15oz.) crushed pineapple (can also use sliced pineapple if you want the classic look with cherries in the middle of the ring)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain pineapples, saving the juice. Prepare cake mix according to directions with the exception of the water- substitute pineapple juice for all or part of the water required. In an iron skillet over medium heat, melt margarine and then mix brown sugar into the butter. Pour crushed pineapple or arrange the rings on the brown sugar. Pour one half of the cake mix on top of the fruit and sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees in oven until golden brown and clean when a tooth pick is inserted (about 1/2 hour). Serves six to eight.
I love this dish. My mother traditionally makes this as a part of a breakfast but I think it would be great for any meal. When I think of my childhood, often the fried apples came in the fall, but I love it all year round. Mom served it with fresh baked biscuits and butter. She also made eggs, bacon and so on, but often I’d just eat the apples and biscuits. I still make these often and they are a perfect meal.
4-6 apples, peeled and sliced (most people prefer slightly tart apples, I like the gala apples)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2-3 Tablespoons margarine or butter
4 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup white sugar, depending on taste
1/8 to 1/4 cup water
After you peel and slice the apples, place them in a heated frying pan with the oil. Cover and heat over medium high heat til apples start to become translucent and soften (not too soft). Add sugar and water, cover and steam cook. When the apples are almost tender, add the margarine. If you prefer you can caramelize the sugar by uncovering the apples and reducing the liquid. Or you can slightly reduce the liquid and have a sugar syrup to serve with the apples. Serve hot with toast, biscuits. Serves 4-6 people.
Potato Salad is a ubiquitous dish, it seems almost every region or country has some version of it. This is my family’s.
During summer dinners, we had potato salad often, monthly if not more frequently. And I never could decide which I liked best, warm and just made or chilled from the fridge.
Here it is:
Southern Potato Salad
8-10 medium potatoes (my family used russet a lot), boiled
3 hard-boiled eggs
2-3 stalks celery or 1 Tablespoon celery seed
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup pickle relish or dill pickle (to taste)
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup yellow mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel potatoes and dice into 1/2″ cubes. Peel and dice hard-boiled eggs into small cubes. Chop celery into small pieces and if you choose dill pickle, dice small. Combine all ingredients, including mayonnaise and mustard. Mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator. Serves 8-12 people.